Argentina: Debates in the FIT-Unidad about the national political crisis

Last Sunday, the primary elections in Argentina marked a breaking point in the country’s situation. The overwhelming defeat of Macrism had a much greater reach than all the forecasts had predicted. A political crisis opened that is in full development and has no certain ending. In the framework of the FIT-Unidad, important agreements and also polemics were expressed. In this article, we summarize the topics in discussion and our positions as the MST.

In parallel to this article, the coalition that we integrate with the PTS, PO and IS, is publishing a common political statement. It expresses some greed general characterizations of the crisis, and at least two relevant points, which we defend as positive:

  • The need to demand a general strike and a plan of struggle from union bureaucracy as a whole.
  • A program of economic demands as an immediate response for the crisis to be paid by the bankers and big capitalists. From there, and with that starting point of agreements, prominent debates have developed about which we want to share our vision.

Should he go, should he stay? About “dialogues” and levels of consciousness

A first, fundamental debate is about the policy to be raised in relation to the Macri government. Our characterization is that the massive rejection of Macrism was conclusive. But it also revealed other symptoms present in the mass movement:

  • The magnitude of the electoral rejection of Macri, beyond the distortive character of the vote in bourgeois democracy, expresses a level of social rupture and anger that corroborates a thesis that we have defended since last year: that Macri and the IMF’s policies have survived artificially since last year thanks to the support of the union bureaucracy and the PJ parliamentarians and governors.
  • The rejection of Macrism exceeds Macism itself, and includes the orientation of austerity imposed by the IMF. That is to say: it is more than a circumstantial break with the ruling politicians, it goes against the policy of social confiscation of the great majority and the “promise” of labor and pension reforms.
  • It is a blow to the false ideology of the supposed “right turn” of the masses in Latin America. The United States´ plans of repositioning on the continent with Trump, supported by Bolsonaro, Piñera and Duque, receive a phenomenal blow. Proof of the social reserve present in our country´s mass movement to confront capitalist aggression, and -in connection- the responsibility of the political and union leaderships in blocking its full development.

Therefore, in this framework, our party has no doubts: the anti-capitalist and socialist left has the responsibility of raising now the slogan “Macri and the IMF must leave, we cannot wait another minute.” Because, since Sunday, the bourgeois panic over the magnitude of the global crisis of the political regime, places the need to develop policies in exactly the opposite direction as the capitalists that aim to stabilize the situation as a responsibility of the first order for revolutionary organizations. This was the first proposal that we presented to the National Board of the FIT-Unidad in writing and though oral debate. To summarize, we can say that the PTS, the PO and IS all rejected this statement:

  • The PTS with 2 arguments: the first is that “because the majority voted for Alberto, to raise “Macri out” now clashes and does not “dialogue” with the majority expectation of voting in October” And, in addition, a second argument: to raise “Macri must leave” now would be to enable Alberto to assume. In fact, it is precisely the opposite: not raising that slogan as an immediate task implies sustaining Macri and, in fact, allowing the bourgeois institutional channeling of the crisis through the “normal” October elections for the FF formula to eventually win and the capitalists to temporarily close their crisis.
  • The PO, evidently conditioned by its fractional crisis with Altamira´s sector, adjusts its policy not according to the reality of the mass movement and its needs, but to its internal struggle. So it does not want to look anything like the other faction, even when it comes to raising a correct policy.
  • IS, for its part, reduces its approach to a trade unionist and economist program (“strike and emergency program”), just as applicable as at any juncture.

In the end, the FIT-Unity, both for not confronting the electoral base K (“which has expectations in Alberto and voting it”) as the PTS says, as for fractional struggles or economicism, the country’s main anti-capitalist and socialist coalition, He refuses to demand that the mass-repudiated government leave in advance. An error of proportions in our opinion.

Must the mass movement decide on everything or not?

Another controversy lies in the use and relevance of the slogan “early elections, but to a Sovereign Free, and Democratic Constituent Assembly.” On this point, the outline repeats itself:

  • The PO rejects it, because it is raised by its fractional opponent. 
  • IS does not see it posed by reality, and therefore for propaganda, the correct slogan remains the workers’ government.
  • And the PTS limits it to defensive propaganda, but not for mass agitation.

That is to say: in the face of a political crisis that questions all the legitimacy of the government and the political regime, because a government that was massively rejected is in the air and a new one has not yet been chosen; in the face of the bourgeois panic revealed by the editorials of the mass media talking about “governance being in question”, the revolutionary left… has no proposal for a political solution, other than the same thing it said during the campaign, or almost the same.

Our vision is very different:

  • Demand that Macri leave now. 
  • Against the devaluation adjustment, we oppose an emergency economic program in defense of jobs, wages, pensions and national resources, and of rupture with the IMF. 
  • We raise the demand for a general strike and plan of struggle. And, as part of our mass propagandist agitation (yes, before the masses), we place the need for the working class and the people to decide, not in October, but before, not a change of the person who manages state austerity, but with a Constituent Assembly – that is, to establish new legal rules-, that must be Free -to discuss everything: IMF, privatizations, wages, the relationship with the clergy, everything-; Sovereign -without conditions- and Democratic -with a mechanism that takes the country as a single district and elects a deputy every 30 thousand inhabitants, on the general direction and orientation of Argentina.

That is to say: we are convinced that this is the way to highlight the ongoing pact of co-government between Macri and FF; and at the same time, to propose a democratic and transitional solution to the political crisis as of the country as a whole that can, in perspective, supported by mobilization, open a dynamic of rupture with the whole of capitalist institutionality. And of course, although it is not on the table today, we propose for propaganda, that is, for patient explanation, a government of workers and the people as a strategy. Unfortunately, the FIT-Unidad disregards this key policy in the current scenario.

Political intervention in the crisis: to be or not to be a pole of reference

We have another decisive polemic in the front: the nature of the intervention of this coalition in the crisis. Our proposal as MST is punctual and very clear: we propose a huge political mobilization of the FIT-Unidad to Plaza de Mayo and all the country´s squares, with combative unionism of course, but with a clear predominance of our front in politics, to appear clearly as an alternative pole in the face of the co-government pact of Macrism and the PJ.

We lack agreement on this point as well. In fact, the PO and IS insist on a unionist type of intervention, which subordinates the FIT-Unidad to a second and relegated plane, and eventually even dilutes it in an action of the “unions”, meaning in reality, of the mobilized activists from some of the unions in which our forces have some influence. The PTS for its part, has a centrist position and that does not play to support our approach; again concerned, as we understand, about not delimiting the FIT-Unidad clearly from Kirchnerism, that actively blocks the action of the mass movement and allows the devaluation confiscation to run. Moreover, Del Caño centers his political agitation  on the proposal for the Congress to session and be televised, and even calls to mobilize to support the measures that would be discussed in that cave of the regime. Precisely the Congress, dominated by the capitalist blocs that agree on the management of the austerity in process and the devaluation confiscation! A major error of institutionalist adaptation, when on the contrary, the task of a revolutionary force in general in the institutions of the bourgeois-democratic regime, and in particular in times of crisis, is to stimulate the distrust of the masses in them by exposing their role as a resource of stabilization of capitalist power.

This part of controversy condenses our differences and disagreements: we think that, in the face of such a political crisis, the FIT-Unidad must be a leading actor in polarizing with all bourgeois forces and the bureaucracy, and oppose a program that gives anti-capitalist and socialist perspectives to the social repudiation of Macrism and the IMF; and above all, to appear standing strong in the eyes of millions in all terrains, but especially in the streets, opposed to the stillness of the employers’ opposition, to become a channel that expresses an action independent of all bourgeois variants. It is in these moments of inflection that policies and leaderships, and in particular, during the sudden changes of the situation that indelibly register in the consciousness of millions, that the role of political forces are proven. The FIT-Unidad still has time to change and not miss a new opportunity. The MST, as part of that coalition, will insist on that.

National Leadership of the MST in the FIT-Unidad
August 16, 2019